5/21/2014 1:00 A.M. ET
Hawkins family at home in the heart of Texas
Rockies closer opens his doors for Home Field Advantage
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
LaTroy Hawkins has found a home.
He knows it because an encircled "H" is wrought into the iron gate out front at his Mediterranean-style estate, matching the "H" in the foyer's marble tile inside.
"Honest to God, every day, when I come back from the gym, and I open up the gate and it has an 'H' on it, I open it up to come to my home, and it reaffirms why I do what I do to continue to be able to play the game that I love," the Rockies' 41-year-old closer said.
Hawkins is giving fans a virtual tour of his Dallas-area property in the new MLB.com video series, Home Field Advantage presented by Coldwell Banker. He welcomes you to his home with the same hashtag he uses for it on Twitter and Instagram: #CasaDeHawkins.
"It's been said over the years, and it's true," Hawkins said. "'There's no place like home.'"
Now in his second tour of duty for Colorado, one of 10 Major League clubs for which he has pitched, Hawkins has been an effective answer. When he surrendered a two-run homer Sunday to San Diego's Everth Cabrera, it marked the first time in his last 21 save opportunities that the right-hander blew a save -- his longest such streak since 2000-01.
Hawkins is 10-for-11 in save situations this season for a surprising Rockies club that entered Tuesday with a winning percentage bettered by only five clubs in the Majors. He is up to 960 career appearances, the most among active pitchers, and needs just five to pass David Weathers for 18th on the all-time list. Whether Colorado will be his last stop remains to be seen, but clearly this distinctive home in Texas is where he finds stability.
"I love the pool, and our basketball court," he said in the video, showing the "Hawk" logo at his center court. "Those are the things as a kid I dreamed of having, and being able to build it, and live it, and dream it every day, is a blessing."
At this house you will find a six-level chandelier; a mural of him delivering for the Twins as a rising pitcher; a black-and-white portrait of LaTroy with wife Anita and their son Dakari and daughter Troi; an elegant fountain with blue water, even though he never played for the Royals; a German shepherd who wants to stay put; and his framed jerseys with different clubs as well as framed jerseys of teammates and friends.
Hawkins calls the master bedroom his "favorite room" because "even when I'm living somewhere else during the season, I miss sleeping in my bed." Dominating the wall over the king-size bed is Scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:4. It assures them in lasting reminder: "... faith, hope, love, abide these three, but the greatest of these is love."
This is how Anita envisioned it when she showed him the original plans.
"I was showing LaTroy's blueprints, and he was like, 'Anita, I don't see it,'" she said. "'I don't know what you're showing me. I don't know what you're looking at.'"
"She could take just the foundation and tell you exactly how the whole house was going to look and tell you where everything was going to go," LaTroy said. "I can't see that stuff. I can see a hitter's weakness, but I can't see the vision of building a home. She thought of stuff I never would have thought of. She made everything tall, she made it comfortable for me."
"For him to be able to see the finished product was amazing," she said.
One look through their home and you can feel the road Hawkins has traveled. There is a touching moment in the video when they both step back and clearly appreciate what they have.
"Baseball has been very good to me and my family," he said.
"And I appreciate you for allowing me to build a beautiful home for our family," Anita tells him. "I love you."
"I'm very happy with the home that we've created," LaTroy said. "I'm at peace when I come home. I love the people in the house that I come home to. And I love you guys."
"Awww, that was so sweet," Anita said.
With 40 more appearances, Hawkins would join a group of only 15 who have pitched in at least 1,000 games. Hall of Famer Goose Gossage is No. 15 at 1,002. MLB.com's projected season stats -- combining year-to-date stats with PECOTA projected stats for the remainder of the season -- call for Hawkins to finish this season with 60 games, and indeed that would put him one in front of Gossage in that select fraternity.
At the end of the day, the Hawkins family will look back on a long road that included a place of stability deep in the heart of Texas.
"I love being at home," he said. "I try to come home at least every off-day if I can."
"Working and playing baseball, I think having a home base is very important," Anita said. "I can say it's a dream come true. Going from our apartment to coming here, it's our first home."